Most Interesting Visual Approaches (by waypoint course)

Well a big part of it is just training with the equipment we have. I, like a lot of people, did my instrument rating in a C172, and while it is a quite modern C172 with G1000, even glass standbys and some other modern comforts it isn’t an Airbus and it is only rated to do certain things. We have GPS, WAAS too, which means we did lots of RNAV GPS approaches, but we can not do RNP approaches because those require some level of RNP or Required Navigational Performance certification for the aircraft. RNP approaches are more 3D than GPS approaches, RNP aircraft employ multiple systems such as GPS, inertial systems, dual DME, etc to have a very precise location in 3D space and since this is part of PBN they use onboard performance monitoring and alerting to make sure they maintain that. This all gets really confusing, but GPS approaches are usually really very similar to their localizer/VOR based counterparts where you have waypoints and altitudes at each of those points, you are just identifying those points via GPS not radio beacons of various forms. RNP approaches have the whole course mapped in 3D space and while the approach plate may look relatively similar they are quite deferent to tie aircraft’s internal systems. This heavier reliance on internal systems is a big part of why they are reserved for more complex aircraft as you often need a relatively sophisticated autopilot or flight director systems to fly them. Note that the KEAT approach has “required FD or HUD” in the notes. Some approaches like this one require the aircraft and pilots to be certified and require authorization, which is another reason I am less familiar because I didn’t get that training flying a non certified aircraft on the other side of the country. An Airbus pilot has the same instrument rating I do technically speaking, but I haven’t been trained on all the things an Airbus (or insert any other aircraft other than a G1000 C172) can do.

As for PBN the main thing with that is “onboard performance monitoring and alerting.” So basically the aircraft doesn’t just have external navigational references it can monitor those through, say RAIM for GPS.


That turn at the end looks more extreme than Kai Tak!

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I finally went back and looked. I was eyeballing the shape of the offered approaches and didn’t see the arc from your approach plate in the “select approach list.” H30-Z doesn’t look like an arc of course because it’s straight lines between only a few fixes.

No wonder you didn’t know what I was talking about; I didn’t know what I was talking about!

Just flew it again (after flying a bunch of other approaches elsewhere). This one does stand out!

It appears this one is not in the database. Visual approaches are sometimes in the IF approach database, or they are excluded?:

while spectacular, is also not included in the database.

I didn’t remember there were no options for “select approach.” But I guess it makes sense for an obsolete airport.

I finally looked over the tutorial, after usually having done my own ad hoc method. Distilling it down to the essentials: waypoints HKMO1, HKMM1, RW, VHHX, using the checkerboard as an external turning guide. This goes along with my memory of riding it irl so many times (which I use as a judge for setting the altitudes).

@KPIT Very clear explanation about the nature of the higher demands for representation accuracy and redundancy:

That and your full explanation much more to the point than what I got out of ChatGPT. Thank you!


I am not sure if/when visual approaches are included. Although, most of the waypoints for this particular approach do exist in the sim, and you can create it manually by referencing the approach plate. The waypoint GACAR does not seem to be in the sim, maybe this is why it’s not listed as an approach?


I could see after you said that, you definitely need the plate to fish out the particular waypoints.
And after that I flew the approach.

I had been looking around various regions for other “tight-turn” to final “visually interesting” approaches (that would not necessarily be designated as visual approaches). Thanks for that!


To be fair you really need the approach plate to fly especially visual approaches. The waypoints will be a guide but there is a lot more to them. If you are only using the waypoints that’s just an RNAV approach.


True, I had the goal of looking for interesting approach geometries combined with compelling ground terrain and scenery. So, I was being rather sloppy with terminology while in pursuit of such approaches to fly in IF.

I was, still am, looking for unusual, scenic, and/or challenging approach profiles, favoring a challenging turn before the threshold, with a preference for waypoints and hopefully altitudes already in the IF database.

But I didn’t think about, not wanting to intentionally exclude approaches where you have to enter the waypoint info (like with Kai Tak and other approaches discussed).

As far as the technicalities of the particular approach classification, that of course has to be another layer on top. If an irl situation, that would be the starting point naturally, and for the sake of maximum realism has to be considered here as well.

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CYCG has a pretty sick circle to land off the RNAV A


GILGIT and Skardu you fly there before?


Thanks! I checked out the very scenic terrain first without having the plate.

Can’t wait for the 208!

This one?:

I’ll go back and have a try…


Yeah off EMLAK you make left traffic for a slant final onto 33


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